Newly-appointed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Monday held his first Cabinet meeting and discussed various ‘pro-poor initiatives’ which it plans to implement in a time-bound manner.
In the meeting that was held at 8 pm at the secretariat in Chandigarh, it was decided that these initiatives in the welfare of the poor will be launched from October 2 to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, also known as the Father of the Nation, an official statement from the Chief Minister’s Office stated.
The Cabinet emphasized to lay special focus on the core sectors of education and health to provide affordable quality healthcare and education facility.
The Cabinet also directed the Housing and Urban Development department to immediately start construction of 32,000 Economically Weaker Section (EWS) houses on a priority basis. These houses will be made available to the eligible beneficiaries on affordable installments, read the statement.
The CMO further stated that the Cabinet deliberated that the free mining of sand (reta) by the landowners will be allowed to abolish the contract system. Under this system, any land owner can mine sand (reta) from his land to ensure its availability to the consumers at affordable rates.
The Cabinet also deliberated to increase free electricity units from existing 200 units to 300 units under SC/BC/BPL domestic consumers. It asked the Additional Chief Secretary Power to bring the proposal in the next Cabinet to give relief to the poor and needy.
Deliberation to waive off the pending electricity bills of tubewells working under Rural Water Supply (RWS) schemes and to provide free water supply in rural areas was also done by the new Cabinet.
The Cabinet reviewed to give relief to the domestic water and sewerage tariff to the consumers of the urban areas. It was decided that the Local Government department will bring a proposal in the next Cabinet in this regard.
The Cabinet simplified the process of allotment of 5-marla plots and empowered the Panchayat Samitis to decide the cases. A special campaign will be launched by the Rural Development and Panchayats department to identify and finalize the allotment of plots to the eligible beneficiaries within two months. Likewise, the Cabinet asked the department to make a policy for purchase of land for chappar, samshan ghat and kabristan wherever the land for this purpose is required. The power to determine the prices of land will be at the level of ADC (D).
It was decided that Punjab Scheduled Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation (PSCFC) will formulate a policy for allotment of land to occupants at affordable rates.Considering the importance of education, the Cabinet decided that a comprehensive policy regarding proper implementation of the Right to Education Act and providing monetary help to the eligible educational institutes be prepared and put up in the next meeting.
Conceding the demand of the management committee of Sri Guru Ravidas Ji Memorial at Sri Khuralgarh Sahib in Hoshiarpur district, the Cabinet also gave approval for installation of a new tubewell in the complex immediately.
Charanjit Singh Channi became the 16th Chief Minister of the state following Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation from the top post in the state.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)